Harmanpreet Kaur
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur will miss the first two matches of the Asian Games, following the ICC suspension for breaching the code of conduct during the final ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka. Image Credit: IANS

Harmanpreet Kaur is in the news for the wrong reasons. A swashbuckling batter, India’s women’s cricket captain grabbed headlines for her poor conduct in an international game and the subsequent two-match ban slapped by the International Cricket Council.

It’s been an unfortunate series of events in Bangladesh. Kaur’s actions in the third One-Day International in Dhaka are deplorable. Not only did she smash the stumps showing dissent at her LBW dismissal, Kaur also had a few words with the umpire besides showing finger gestures for the crowd, reports said. That wasn’t all. The Indian captain continued her tirade during the presentation ceremony.

It was a rolling disaster. Such appalling behaviour is not expected of a national team captain. Players are a country’s ambassadors, and the captain should ensure that the team toe the line even under extreme provocation. And that includes poor decisions on the field.

Poor umpiring decisions have been a part of cricket. Neutral umpires and Decision Review System (DRS) have helped reduce umpiring errors, but both were unavailable for Indian women’s tour of Bangladesh.

If the decision against Kaur was wrong, she wouldn’t be the first batter to suffer. Numerous cricketers have been wrongly given out: none of them must have been deliberate. After all, umpires are human. Cricketers know that. Yet, in the heat of the moment, things happen. But players move on.

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Kaur didn’t. Her frustration continued to simmer and spilt into the presentation ceremony, insinuating that Bangladesh tied the match with the help of umpires. That’s pathetic.

In any sport, there will be winners and losers. A loss is always difficult, but the loser should accept it gracefully. Look at tennis great Novak Djokovic’s effusive praise for his conqueror Carlos Alcaraz, who derailed the Serbian’s record run at Wimbledon. Ons Jabeur bawled her eyes out after a painful loss to Marketa Vondourosa in the women’s final but didn’t forget to congratulate the winner. This is what champions do. That’s why they are role models.

Kaur is no role model. We don’t want young cricketers emulating her abominable actions. It shouldn’t be condoned. Kaur has been star performer, but as captain she failed her country and the team. Maybe, she doesn’t deserve to continue as captain.